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Wired Sussex Breakfast Session: Funding Your Business Idea via Crowdfunding

On Thursday 26th May 2016 as part of our Breakfast Session event series, we invited Wired Sussex Member companies in to The FuseBox to learn about funding a business idea via Crowdfunding.

For the uninitiated, crowd funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

At this event we welcomed Jason Nuttall, Funding Manager at Crowdfunder UK and Kirsty Jennings, Business Director at Blast Theory who implemented a successful Crowdfunder campaign to support their app Karen, to share their knowledge, experience and expertise on the subject.

Here are some key points from the conversation


There are four types of crowd funding:

  • Equity
  • Lending
  • Rewards
  • Community Shares

Crowdfunder is the UK's largest crowdfunding platform.  40% of campaigns get full funding when using Crowdfunder. Crowdfunder work with partners who can match fund, and in this circumstance the statistics are more towards 80%.

Crowdfunder has raised a total of £18m so far, the largest campaign of which saw £1.5m raised by the Eden Project.

Why Crowdfund?

  • The common trajectory is that a campaign will pick up momentum, dip down a little and then pick back up again. Crowdfunder has automatic emails that go out to support campaigns, at these times.
  • Crowdfunding is a great way to test your business plan with real audiences; for many organisations it's about testing your ideas as there is so much competition for raising money and building support.
  • The value is in testing your ideas with the market - you can't do this on paper.
  • Crowdfunder takes a standard 5% of each successful campaign.

Launching  Your Campaign

  • Projects that are a prototype as opposed to an idea are the most successful.
  • Set a target that is a mimimum that you need to achieve, then set a stretch target that you can aim to meet if you achieve your minimum target.
  • Be transparant about your goals.
  • No major campaign will launch a crowdfunding campaign until they've got 10% of the target already raised - people back projects that other people are interested in.
  • When planning your crowd funding campaign, consider the resources you have in place to support and manage it.
  • Get family and friends involved early on in the project
  • Be creative; people buy people. Apply this methodology to your campagin video.

Mananging Your Campaign

  • The common trajectory that it'll pick up, then dip then pick up.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for support, help and advice - people like to help.
  • Communication is key; tell people what you're doing, why you're doing it and ask if they can help.
  • Word of mouth is particularly helpful in successful campaigns, particualry in the early days.
  • Use a hashtag to support your campaign, it makes it easier for people to pick up on and share.
  • Donors are more likely to give again so build relationships with the crowd.


Here's a summary of the event from MIScribeMI Scribe Sketch Notes Crowdfunding

If you are interested in learning more about Crowd Funding as a model for your business, do check out the Crowdfunder UK website for everything you need to know.  And if you're looking for a comprehensive guide to Crowdfunding from a company who have successfully implemented a campaign, Blast Theory has pulled together a super useful guide.

We've got lots of exciting and informative breakfast sessions coming up, covering a range of subjects from funding your business with Angel Investment to Insight, Branding and Growing Your Audience; check out our upcoming events to find out more and register to come along.

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